Working in Academic Libraries

University Libraries

Academic libraries are an important part of higher education institutions and usually serve two complementary purposes: to support the curriculum and to support faculty and student research. Although academic library positions vary depending on the mission and type of institution they serve, some common responsibilities include: managing projects, departments, and community relationships; providing instruction, reference, curriculum, research, and classroom support; and keeping up with trends and technological advancements in library and information science.

Community College Libraries

Libraries in two-year colleges (also known as community or junior colleges) occupy an interesting and important middle ground between libraries in universities and public libraries. Community college libraries can function as both research/student academic support hubs and community centers. Therefore, librarians in two-year colleges are often called upon to fill a variety of roles from collection development to reader advisory to circulation to reference and instruction. Community college libraries generally have smaller staffs, which also leads to the blurring of job distinctions. And, the community college setting requires consistent outreach efforts to engage the diverse student body, many of whom are part-time students participating in corporate, technical, and continuing education.

Click through the pages below for an overview of the types of academic libraries, the various roles you can fill, salaries and promotion requirements, and tips to help you land your dream job.